Category Archives: Reviews

Reviews of Marvel and DC Comics.

Mockingbird #1

MOCKINGBIRD #1

Capsule Review

This unexpected series promises to reward repeat reading — according to the text feature, it is deliberately designed as a four-issue “puzzle box,” with your impression of this first issue changing over time as each of the succeeding issues is read. But the first issue works fine all by itself, and maybe it isn’t wise to look too far ahead, with a few books of this latest Marvel relaunch getting the axe after just five or six issues. Live in the now! Mockingbird does, and that’s part of her problem, given that her “now” involves submitting to annoying and invasive medical tests by S.H.I.E.L.D. every week … and her doctors may not be telling her everything that is going on. Not by a long shot. All of which sounds a lot more grim than it is — this is actually a fast-paced, humorous, and light-hearted book, with writer Chelsea Cain letting us in on Mockingbird’s sarcastic inner monologue, and artist Kate Niemczyk scattering blistering little visual Easter eggs all over the place (yes, that is Tony Stark reading a STD pamphlet in the S.H.I.E.L.D. medical waiting room). This is a unique and entertaining book that deserves your support — don’t sleep on Mockingbird!

Approachability For New Readers

Pretty good. It helps to know a bit about Mockingbird’s past relationships and associations, but it’s easy enough to figure it out as you go along.

Read #2?

Yup. I need to know where the dog comes from.

Sales Rank

(N/A)

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Mockingbird #1

 

Black Widow #1

BLACK WIDOW #1

Capsule Review

“Cinematic” is an over-used term in comics, but it certainly applies here. How about, “relentlessly visual?” Mark Waid and Chris Samnee share the writer’s credit in Natasha’s latest solo effort, and that credit is well-earned, with every twist-and-turn a visual one, right down to a harrowing escape by the Black Widow that harkens back to one of the greatest visual reveals in Marvel Comics history. Really, the story comes down to this: the Black Widow has done something bad, S.H.I.E.L.D. is out to get here, and everything else is details. But what details! We get tightly-choreographed fist fights, motorcycle chases, skydiving hijinks, spy gadgets, and even the S.H.I.E.L.D. commissary in a breakneck, all-action story where our hero doesn’t utter a word until the very last page. In the text feature, Mark Waid makes much of how everyone wanted to keep the old Daredevil team together, including colorist Matt Wilson and letterer Joe Caramagna — and this is the work of a team that thoroughly understands each other, operating at the peak of their powers. You can read the book in about five minutes … but that just leaves time to go back and read it again. And again! (I will).

Approachability For New Readers

Given her presence in several of the biggest superhero films of all time, I think it is safe to say most fans will know that Black Widow is a super-spy … and you don’t need to know a lot more than that to enjoy this story.

Read #2?

Absolutely.

Sales Rank

(N/A)

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Black Widow #1

Power Man And Iron Fist #1

POWER MAN AND IRON FIST #1

Capsule Review

Nothing spectacular happens in this issue — old partners Luke Cage and Danny Rand re-team to do a solid for an old friend — but the style and heart brought to this story by creators David F. Walker and Sanford Greene makes it just as much a page-turner as the Avengers fighting space gods for the fate of the earth. The characterization and dialogue is spot-on, with Danny obviously wanting to get his old partnership back together (so much so that he makes some foolish choices), and Luke just as obviously wanting the opposite (but chaffing, just a bit, under a family he possibly feels doesn’t let him risk his neck the way he used to). Our guys chase down a MacGuffin, get in a fight, and of course get sucked into a deeper adventure that promises betrayals and twists to come. Nice to see Luke’s old foe Tombstone playing the heavy. “Heavy” might also describe Greene’s art, which leans (hard) toward caricature … but I like it. Luke’s shoulders are broad as a barn, Tombstone’s mug is a rubbery horror mask, and the toughs in Tombtone’s employ are all flattened noses and gritted teeth. Bonus points for Luke saying, “Christmas!” and for Danny having a box of Master of Kung Fu comics and some Shaw Brothers movies in his storeroom.

Approachability For New Readers

Excellent. Danny and Luke have a history together, but you needn’t know much if anything about that history to enjoy this tale.

Read #2?

Yes!

Sales Rank

#8 February

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Power Man And Iron Fist #1

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